For today’s Guitar Slide Wednesday, we’re revisiting surf rock, and once again we’ll hear from Dick Dale, the King of Surf Guitar.
As mentioned in the previous post, Dale made a name for himself in the ’60s, but also made a comeback in the late ’80s/early ’90s. This comeback was solidified when “Misirlou” was used as the opening theme Pulp Fiction (1994).* However, one of the beginning steps of his comeback was appearing in the movie Back to the Beach (1987), starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello. In addition to his cameo in the film, Dale is on the soundtrack with Stevie Ray Vaughan covering the song “Pipeline.”
“Pipeline” (1963) was originally performed by surf rock band The Chantays. The song was their only big hit, and it became a surf standard. I’ve posted both versions below. The Chantays’ version isn’t great audio quality, but it’s a performance of the song on The Lawrence Welk Show, and you can’t beat that!
Dale and Vaughan’s version opens with a huge slide, and as expected, the slides keep coming throughout the song. However, there’s veritable guitar slide extravaganza around 1:34 in the middle of the bridge/guitar solo.
*He is currently on tour. In fact, he was in Atlanta just a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately, Mr. Dale didn’t consult my calendar when he scheduled his show, and I was unable to attend.